Friday, March 26, 2010

Journal 8 Navigate the Digital Rapids Nets 4, 5

Lindsay , J, & Davis, V. (2010). Navigate the digital rapids. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(6), Retrieved from

This article explores internet safety and how we as teachers approach or rather should approach internet use in the class room. The authors, Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis, say using the internet safely in the class room is not much more than learning how to drive a car safely. Today though, there is an inherited fear factor involved that might inhibit teachers from taking advantage of the internet in the class room. They talk about digital citizenship as suppose to digital literacy. Digital citizenship encompasses so much more than digital literacy. Teachers need not limit themselves due to fear rather open up the door to customized learning in the class room while at the same time teaching the standards. Appropriate use of the internet needs to be taught as soon as the children start using the internet. If they are in Kindergarten using the internet, then they need to learn how to use it. If we let the students take charge of their digital use in the class room, with appropriate guidance, then we will also create responsible users of the internet, and as a result the students will come out of high school much more fluent in the digital world. If given ownership, then you also take ownership. Obstacles and misuse in the digital world will be dealt with just the same as any other misuse related to school assignments or work.

I think this article is very much in line with some other once I have been reading. That is, we need to overcome the obstacles to why we should not use digital technology in the class room and teach the standards at the same time. Anything new…(it is still kind of new) can create fear in people or educators. They don’t feel confident enough to handle it. I do believe there needs to be well planned training sessions for educators on how to handle the digital use in the class room if used. Seems to me still though that the digital use that I am reading about in this article is far off from what is going on in the class rooms today. Where is all this technology, in what class rooms I would like to ask? I don’t see it very much at all. I was pleasantly surprised that the Scripps Ranch High School was going to purchase some Netbooks for their school. This is a big step forward. But only due to lots of private fundraising are they able to purchase Netbooks. It does not come from the regular public school budget. If we don’t incorporate digital use in the class room while teaching, then I think it should be part of the curriculum as a mandatory class to take. It is extremely important to be a digital citizen and to be digitally literate. I would question how well most students know how to use the internet for research purposes etc.

Question I
Overcoming the fear factor for teachers how age related is it?
When using the web to collaborate with other students around the country or around the world there are safety issues to be taken into account.
I have understood from reading the article that there are hesitations to teach probably due to lack of knowledge from the educators. The digital age is fairly new and it keeps moving forward every day with new advantages. The fact that many educators are in an age group that did not grow up with the technology moving as fast as it does today, can put a stop to moving forward. I believe that in some instances they feel reluctant to learn about the new information and the possibilites they have with it. In order for this to work I believe educators need to have much more guidance and assistance on how to utilize digitial efforts in the class room.

Questions II
What is the difference between digital citizenhip and digital literacy?
Before reading this article, I only knew about the term digital literacy.
For example, in "all" job ads they ask you are computer literate. So, I have been thinking about the term digital citizenship. I understand it encompasses so many more things than just digital literacy. I am still not completely clear on the difference. Should we come up with a test that students need to take in order to earn their digital citizenship certificate? I think it would be a good idea. And it needs to start in school and as part of the regular curriculum.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Journal 7 The Beginner's Guide to Interactive Virtual Field Trips Nets 2, 5

Zanetis, J. (2010). The Beginner's guide to interactive virtual field trips. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37.
Retrieved from

This article focuses on online distance learning as an option for schools to provide for students instead of going on field trips. Today, field trips have become very expensive. Many schools can’t take their students on field trips to enrich their education. Virtual field trips provide them with a great option to do so. There are non interactive field trips and there are interactive field trips. The asynchronous virtual field trips are not delivered in real time. They provide websites that include text, audio, or video. The interactive virtual field trips are in real time and synchronous. It gives students the possibility to interact with peers far away that they might not have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

I really enjoyed the article. It gave me a lot of new information and ideas. What better way than have the field trip come to you instead of the other way around. In smaller cities, suburbs, or towns this might be a great option. Interactive virtual field trips or just virtual field trips, can really open up the door for many students. With an interactive field trip you can visit countries and different parts of the USA. Students can learn from each other when studying different subjects. Students that won’t be able to travel to certain museums can now visit the museums in school.

Question #1
Can a virtual field trip replace the experience you have in person when you take a regular field trip?
To me the computer will never replace the “real life experience” but it is a fabulous option. We as teachers are able to give more to our students if we use virtual field trips. The field trip that is not delivered in real time is also very good. What you need is a computer and that is it. Very simple but you can still accomplish a great deal to make it feel real. As students become more and more used to working in a real time environment, I believe you can probably “loose” yourself and forget for a moment that you are actually just sitting in front of a computer participating in the field trip. Just like when students are on Facebook and chat with their friends, the picture of their friends is on the screen so it feels very real and very close. In the future, it would be great if schools actually could provide this technology for their students. For students that can’t afford or did not make the list for the 8th grade east coast trip (they only take so many students so if you are too late to sign up you can’t go and the cost is $2500.00 per student for one week) the virtual interactive trip would be great. The teachers are not allowed to teach anything anyways because the students that are on the trip can’t miss out on academics for a whole week. The students that are left behind just sit in the class room all week and watch movies and play games. How about some Interactive VFT instead???

Question #2
Is it really that easy to get assistance to get started if your school does not have the equipment?
Seems to me the article makes it sound easy to receive financial help to get started on this. If this was true, how come more schools don’t do it? It sounds too easy to get assistance for the set up of the Interactive VFT. How many companies are you going to come across that are willing to demo equipment without actually purchasing it? Also, how easy is it to receive grants? I guess there are many more questions within the question. But bottom line is the money to implement it even if it is cheaper than a regular field trip.

Journal 6 Classroom 2.0 Nets 2, 3, 5

This journal entry promotes local and global learning through the exploration of creative applications of technology to improve student learning. With the tool I choose from classroom 2.0, calendars, the students will be able to manage their own learning, time, and set goals.

I never really thought of how to keep my lesson plans organized and where to do it. What I found was that doing it online is a great idea. If you find an application that is user friendly, it is really the way to do it rather than having to deal with hard copy, especially if you are not a very organized person. Out of the two options I have listed below, I think I would actually not mind using both but for different purposes. I would use the Assign-A-Day for myself as a teacher and I would create a website for my students and parents so they can always be informed. The one thing about the website is that you need to always be current with your information so it would require more work on my part.

I decided to look into the tool CALENDARS. Then I focused on planning and organization in the class room. The question asked was how to stay organized without using hard copy for your lesson plans. I learned about two different websites that provided useful information regarding this question. The first one was This site offered a lot of information for teachers. The application used for this purpose was Assign-A-Day. Assign-A-Day provides you with an online application that teachers can use to manage their day to day lesson plans in a very easy way. Each calendar receives its own id#, date and title name. Once you have that done you can go into set up. Here you will be able to pick font, font size and color background you want for your calendar. Once you are back to manage calendar you will click on edit. Now you are finally able to add assignments. As you add your assignments, you are able to view the calendar in a different window. You choose beginning date and end date for assignment, name of assignment and assignment description. In the description you can add hyperlinks. When you finished adding your assignment, you can continue adding or view it in the calendar manager. When you go back to view your calendar, you will see the assignments on the dates they were assigned. Also, when you move your cursor over the date, the detailed description of the assignment pops up. The calendar can be printed in a list or a gridline format. This is great since we need to be able to show our plans to the principle if asked to. It is also a private application because you have to sign up on Assign-A-Day as a teacher with your email and own password. Only you as a teacher will be allowed to use the calendar. also provides you with great applications for lesson plans and organization in the class room. With their applications you can build your own website that will host all of your information so it is easily accessible for both students and parents. It is not only a private calendar for me as a teacher to keep track of my planning. In total this site provides you with tools such as: grade book & parental portal; discipline tracking; lesson planner & staff websites; student stats data analysis tool and student information system. After you visit their website and decide you are interested in their applications, you may fill out a form online with your information. They have a list of information to choose from: Easy to use web-based lesson plan book; Tracking state curriculum standards; Organize and review lesson plans; Teacher website for posting homework; Web-based calendars for users and schools. They will send out a video on how the different applications work and how you get started.

Classroom 2.0

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Animal Traits 1st grade PowerPoint Lesson Nets 1, 2, 3

This powerpoint was made to show how a teacher can effectively use presentation software to enhance learning. I had to use the ISTE NETS-S performance indicators to match my project to a particular grade level. My powerpoint included, hyperlinks, images, text (font different colors and size), custom animation, transitions, and clipart. The powerpoint itself promotes innovative thinking and promotes relative ideas to the students in a productive and interesting way.

Collaborative PowerPoint iRubric Nets 2, 3, 5

This rubric was created collaboratively in class to come up with a good technique to assess the powerpoint lesson. We used to create the rubric. We gathered in groups of four to view the different powerpoint lesson plans. As we viewed them, we also put down our assessments on the rubric.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Journal 4 Finding Students who Learn from Media Nets 1, 2, 3

Bull, G. (2009-2010). Finding students who learn from media. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(February 5), Retrieved from


The author, Glenn Bull, explores an area of learning where media is incorporated into teaching. The reason for this study is to see if the students that use media are more engaged in their work than students in a regular class room. In this project, they used a tool called PrimaryAccess. PrimaryAccess storyboard, an extension of PrimaryAccess, allowed the students to create a visual historical narrative in a single class period. Since this tool was online, it also offered the teachers the possibility to see if the students were more engaged while using the media than when they wrote a regular essay. On average they found that students that worked on the storyboard spent more time than the students writing the essay.


This article reminds me of the video we watched about Gardner’s theory on Multiple Intelligences. In the article, they are looking at the fact that students learn differently. Teachers are struggling to come up with new intriguing and engaging ways to learn. By introducing technology they enhance the education. They discover that student’s find “authenticity, its alignment with student interests, its real-world importance, and degree of student choice” engaging. I believe it is important to introduce more technology in today’s class room. Using the storyboard as a medium to learn in order to engage students is a step in the right direction. Oftentimes it becomes tedious to use the same tools while learning. To keep the students interested and to challenge them, you need to use different forms of media.

Question #1

Are the students spending more time on the project because it is computer based rather than pencil and paper? Or is it because it is a new interesting tool to use for learning that they have not been exposed to before?

I think it is a combination of both. If I take a step back and think about how I use the computer, I have to say it is very engaging to use a computer when working on a paper, more so than if I was to write with paper and pencil. If I have a question while writing I can engage and look up information and then write down my findings right after. It becomes interactive. You use both hands while typing, you read and you can listen to videos, and watch paintings. The storyboard is probably a new fascinating tool for the students to use. Anything new is good. However, I think the storyboard idea will continue to be interesting to the students because your ideas keep evolving when you work on the project and you can visualize the progress.

Question #2

Would the students that showed low technology and low content while using the storyboard also show that when writing a regular essay with pencil and paper or are they “low” just because they prefer the pencil and paper? Not so sure about this answer. Perhaps they don’t find computer use so interesting and perhaps it is overwhelming for some. New technology might take you outside your comfort zone and it becomes too challenging. Pencil and paper might be more comfortable. It would be good to see if these same students showed a greater interest with the pencil and paper. What was the difference between the storyboard and the pen and paper use? I also believe that the difference in the groups is based on personal motivation. Students that performed really “well high technology and high content” took advantage of the tool and excelled. These students were probably really interested in the subject matter and the fact that they used the storyboard was just another incentive for them to keep working and doing very well on their assignment. For students that are not very interested in the subject matter, the storyboard might change their minds so they become more interested when they have a new tool to work with.